Is it worth it to upgrade Squier Classic Vibe PJ Pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by JT Foster, Oct 26, 2021.

  1. JT Foster

    JT Foster

    Dec 27, 2014
    O’Fallon, MO
    I’m trying to hot rod my Jaguar, and I’m wondering if it would be worth it to upgrade the pickups. I have no way to compare my pickups vs aftermarket pickups, so I’ll take some advice if anyone has experience with this.

    I’ve heard great things about the 1/4 pounders, which is the cheapest set I’ve found. I’m looking for a very aggressive sound that goes well with pick playing and drive.
    The stock pickups aren’t bad by any means, but I’m wondering how much better it can get.

    I’ve already gotten a new pickguard and knobs, I’m also looking at upgrading the bridge as well.
  2. Gustopher

    Gustopher Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2018
    It is if you really like the bass and enjoy it. I put EMG Geezers in my pbass and it really brought it to life. Same with my Sterling Ray4, I put a Delano FE pickup in it and wow, night and day difference... but both of those basses had really bad stock pickups. YMMV
    Corrington likes this.
  3. dwizum


    Dec 21, 2018
    "Worth it" threads are always hard to respond to because different people will like different things. There are literally no differences in "quality" or other factors between the pickups you have now and any other Fender style pickup out there - they're all just minor tweaks on the same basic recipe. So, "worth it" boils down to what sounds good to year ears.

    Personally I like the recent Squier CV pickups, I think they're some of the best sounding pickups Fender have made recently. But there are definitely other options out there that will be more aggressive or more suited to 0laying with a pick. EMG's basic active PJ set sounds awesome with a pick (to my ears) and is plenty aggressive. The QPs you mentioned sound good too but (to me) are a little more "vintage overwound" rather than "cleaner modern" in that they can start to get a little muddy if you're playing hard, especially with overdrive.

    One option is to just watch the classifieds on here. Buy anything that looks interesting, try it out, and then resell what you don't like. Often you can do this and only lose a few bucks here and there at the end of the day. Think of it as renting used pickups.
    Corrington and JT Foster like this.
  4. DrewD


    Oct 25, 2020
    Vancouver Island
    IMO if the bass and the neck (straight not twisted) feel and play right for you ergonomically, then yes it is worth it. For not a lot of money you can install some very good aftermarket PUs, pots, nut and bridge saddles. Depending on how you like your action set, you could also consider a fret dressing (a must for me because I like very little neck relief and very low action).
    Which specific PUs is such a matter of subjective taste, like your favourite beer, that I won't offer an opinion on that. You can't go "wrong" with any of the major names. For me, I would start with Fralin.
  5. JT Foster

    JT Foster

    Dec 27, 2014
    O’Fallon, MO
    The bass is incredible. I have a tiny bit of buzzing at the 7th and 8th fret, but it’s not really noticeable when playing through an amp. I set it up perfectly.

    I know nothing about potentiometers, so I wouldn’t even know where to start with those tbh, but I could look into it. I guess I’d just go with whatever matched the EMG Geezers.
  6. JT Foster

    JT Foster

    Dec 27, 2014
    O’Fallon, MO
    This is the info I needed!

    Can’t do active pickups with my Jag, since it’s a passive bass. Sure that would help my sound though! I’m definitely leaning towards the EMG Geezers.
  7. skycruiser

    skycruiser Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2019
    If the pots aren't scratchy there's probably no need to change them. They are just variable resistors, and have no effect on tone besides the value it happens to be set to when you adjust the dial.
  8. C Stone

    C Stone

    Sep 4, 2020
    I have found no need to change out 60's CV's pickups (although I have to Fender Original 62's). The 70's CV's are a little polite for my tastes but certainly playable.

    If I were to change them out it would be to Geezers a noticeable difference and an improvement from what I have heard as far as demo's go SPB-1's would be 2nd.
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